September 24, 2007
by Reb Yudel
So Jews are answering Malcolm Hoenlein's charge and bussing kids (including my 11th grader) to protest the Iranian leader. This would be a bit more meaningful if Hoenlein et al weren't unrepentant enablers of Iran's de facto major Middle East ally, President Bush. Because while the death of 3,500 American soldiers and tens if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqis will soon fade away, Iran's success in filling the vacuum created by George Bush will endure for some time.
As Peter Galbraith observes:
George W. Bush had from the first facilitated the very event he
warned would be a disastrous consequence of a US withdrawal from Iraq:
the takeover of a large part of the country by an Iranian-backed
militia. And while the President contrasts the promise of democracy in
Iraq with the tyranny in Iran, there is now substantially more personal
freedom in Iran than in southern Iraq.
Iran's role in Iraq is pervasive, but also subtle. When Iraq drafted
its permanent constitution in 2005, the American ambassador
energetically engaged in all parts of the process. But behind the
scenes, the Iranian ambassador intervened to block provisions that
Tehran did not like. As it happened, both the Americans and the
Iranians wanted to strengthen Iraq's central government. While the Bush
administration clung to the mirage of a single Iraqi people, Tehran
worked to give its proxies, the pro-Iranian Iraqis it
supported—by then established as the government of Iraq—as
much power as possible. (Thanks to Kurdish obstinacy, neither the US
nor Iran succeeded in its goal, but even now both the US and Iran want
to see the central government strengthened.)
Since 2005, Iraq's Shiite-led government has concluded numerous
economic, political, and military agreements with Iran. The most
important would link the two countries' strategic oil reserves by
building a pipeline from southern Iraq to Iran, while another commits
Iran to providing extensive military assistance to the Iraqi
government. According to a senior official in Iraq's Oil Ministry,
smugglers divert at least 150,000 barrels of Iraq's daily oil exports
through Iran, a figure that approaches 10 percent of Iraq's production.
Iran has yet to provide the military support it promised to the Iraqi
army. With the US supplying 160,000 troops and hundreds of billions of
dollars to support a pro-Iranian Iraqi government, Iran has no reason
to invest its own resources.
You really should take the time to read the rest of this dispiriting piece.
Anyway, I don't think demonstrations do much good. But hats off to those who, however vainly, tried to protest this folly years ago.